Must-Read Mentor Text: Inside the Earth

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. ...
Genesis 1:1-5

Our first science unit is about the physical make-up of the Earth, focusing specifically on the different Layers of the Earth.
Here are some FUN and ENGAGING activities that I use to teach the concept to my fifth graders:
First off, I read them this book:

It's a fun and lively book in which the famous Ms. Frizzle takes the students on an adventure to the center of the Earth! They learn about the different layers of the Earth, as well as important rocks and minerals they find along the way. It's a perfect companion to our study!
I'm linking this book up with
my cute buds at Collaboration Cuties:

This week's theme is SCIENCE - so hop over and link up your favorite science-themed mentor texts! :)

After they have a basic understanding of the layers, we do a couple more activities to solidify that knowledge:
Here is the link to an awesome song that will get stuck in your students' heads for days - hopefully until quiz day :)
And then we put our knowledge into practice:
I am working on a large Layers of the Earth packet
...which is almost done :)
But for now, I have created a FREE sampler for YOU! 
You can snag this 5-page packet for FREE! by clicking here:
I'm submitting this packet to
Molly's "Fabulous Freebies on the Fifteenth"
Stop by to say "Hi!" and snag some Fabulous Freebies! :)

And lastly, I found this puzzle at the Dollar Spot:
I make a big deal about letting the kids work on it as a special treat when they have gone finished their work or gone above and beyond to be role models :)

Question: Do you teach 3 or 4 layers of the Earth?
(do you count the "inner core" and the "outer core" separately or as one layer?)
My book teaches the students 3, but I always remember learning about them as 4.

Do you have any tips or activities for teaching the layers of the Earth?
If so, please share! I'm always on the lookout for fresh ideas! :)
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